6/24/2017
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Easter

For Christians, Easter is the most important holiday of all. It is the day of the year that most Christians celebrate the resurrection of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

According to passages in the New Testament, three days after being crucified, Jesus arose from the dead and walked and talked amongst his Apostles. According to some accounts, Jesus taught his followers for at least 40 days after he arose.

On Easter Sunday, many Christians attend church services, pray and profess their love for God, and praise Him for sacrificing His only begotten son so that whosoever believe in Him shall have everlasting life. Christians also believe that Jesus died on the cross so their sins will be forgiven by God.

Easter is called a moveable holiday because it is not set on a specific day each year. Western Christian churches set Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21.

Orthodox Christian churches use the Julian calendar to calculate which day Easter will occur on. This makes Easter fall a week a two after the date set by Western churches. This is why Easter falls in March in certain years and in April in other years.

Although Easter is celebrated on a particular day of the year, it is actually a part of a season of events that are commemorated on different days leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and for a period after his resurrection.

Events include Lent, which is a forty day period of prayer, penance, and fasting. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday is observed the week before Easter. It commemorates the day Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Holy Week is the last week of Lent.

The crucifixion of Jesus is commemorated on Good Friday. Easter is celebrated the following Sunday. Following Easter, is Easter Monday, which is the beginning of Eastertide, or Easter Season. Easter Season ends with Pentecost Sunday.

Based on biblical writings and Christian belief, the crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent resurrection ensures that all who believe that he is their savior will be forgiven their sins and blessed with everlasting life.

Accounts of the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus can be found in the New Testament writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30.

Easter has become one of the most commercialized periods of the year. Customs and traditions have grown in different ways bringing many industries into the Easter holidays for profit.

Food, fashionable clothing, flowers, and an assortment of saleable items have become synonymous to Easter. Hams, turkeys, easter eggs, baskets, candy, bunnies, cookies, and cakes have all become part of Easter traditions.

Easter sales have become common for this time of year. Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, and Macy's, JC Penney, and most other stores and outlets have Easter sales.

Car dealerships, electronic stores, and restaurants offer Easter discounts and sales to lure people into their places of business.

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